HE HAS RISEN

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He has risen
He has risen to many cherry bosoms
Making sales on street beds

In the mouth of the Kwahu Mountain

He has risen

II
He has risen
He has risen to countless stinking pubs

On many holy grounds
He has risen

III
He has risen
He has risen to bleached bodies
On many Black heads
He has risen

IV
He has risen
He has risen to huge mountains

In the middle of giants peeping through defecation holes
He has risen

V
He has risen
He has risen to mortars pounding their own fufu

Like absurd shadows trying to hug humans

He has risen

VI
He has risen
He has risen like a conqueror
But His eyes just made Him feel like a chicken
Seeing as His Father’s men ask for freedom to concur anal doctrines
He has risen

VII
He has risen,
He has risen to an internet world
Where money rituals possess hackers and innocents alike
To seek satanic sensationalisms for money extraction
He has risen

VIII
He has risen
He has risen to many thievery scenes

And many haramic bombings
On lands so sacred

He has risen

IX
He has risen
He has risen to full churches
With countable pious souls
Oh what hypocrisy!
He has risen
Risen but considering leaving for the throne of glory

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2015

The Launch of Poetry Excursion on an African Mind by Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

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Poetry, is fast gaining roots in Ghana, and as such, there are modern poets who are helping give it a boost in the entertainment industry. I must commend the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW) for helping its members gain the recognition they need. Being what many call a prolific writer, I started writing poetry when I was very young. It was my safe shell, it was my happy lane, it was my channel of criticism, it was my path to call for fairness, it was my route of education, among other things.

I never for once thought I would reach a point where I would be a published poetess, but by the grace of God, 15th March 2015 will see me living to see a dream, which I deemed far fetched, come true. Thanks to my loved ones who have had continued faith in me and have supported me up to this point and thanks to my followers on social media, especially, Facebook, WordPress and Twitter, whose words of encouragement, great voices of constructive criticisms and love have brought me this far.

My anthology: Poetry Excursion on an African Mind, which is my maiden book, was borne out of many emotions, so whoever one is, whatever one is going through, you are sure to find a piece which suits you. From children to the mourning adult, from the love-sick to the loved and from workers to politicians.

What drives me is the fact that I wish to contribute to the society where I am by doing what I do best, writing. Being one who knows what parents of autistic children go through, I decided, by consulting the executives of GAW, who gave their full support, to use 30% of the proceeds of the book to set up a fund to support children with autism to help relieve needy parents who have huge tasks of taking care of such children. Autism needs money to train children to fit into the society, money which most abandoned mothers lack and so fall into desperation. There are many people who are providing help for autistic children in Ghana today at huge costs,  but no financial help comes in except from philanthropists.

It is my hope that this fund, whose signatories would be the President of GAW, my humble self and a head of an autistic organisation, would grow to a point of relieving many parents whose hearts are heavy because of the fears they harbour and whose fears are fuelled mostly by the cost of living of their autistic children.

So I am entreating all and sundry to rally massively behind me on the 15th of March by being at the PAWA House, opposite the Accra Girls Senior High School at exactly 2:00pm to help support a good course. Seasoned poets like Nana Asaase, Oswald Okaitei, Chief Moomen would be there as Mr. Alfred Kpodo chairs this maiden edition. Special Guest of Honour will be the woman who has shown so much support for the Creative Arts in Ghana: Honourable Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts; Honourable Abla Dzifa Gomashie.

Please make it a point to be there.

      Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

 Author.

ATANGA’S GRANDPA’S LAST ADVICE

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EPILOGUE:

When wisdom fills the old calabash,

It overflows and seeps in

The sun dries it to be stronger

That way it lasts with experience

So was the calabash of Atanga’s Granpa

On his very dying bed

He called Atanga to his bed

And had his last stream flow to him

GRANDPA:

My dear Atanga,

Please in the name all great Atangas

This is my last advice to you

If you wish to take a wife

Never choose either of these:

The woman with light skin

The woman with dark skin

The woman who is short

And the woman who is tall

ATANGA:
Ei Grandpa!

Then tell me not to marry

Who then do you want me to marry?

Not the fair

Nor the dark

Not the short

Nor the tall?

GRANDPA:

Listen my boy

To words of old

The light skinned woman

Is the fantasy of all

If you choose her

None will help you prosper

Every man wants you to fail

So they can quickly take your place

So never dream of the fair woman

No matter how much you crave for her

ATANGA:

Oh! I see

I think I do understand

Grandpa what about the rest?

GRANDPA:

Never go in for dark skinned woman

She is the one that all your people loathe

She is the one whose people hate you

The only people interested are you and her

When disaster strikes, none will hear

So never go in for the dark skinned woman

ATANGA:

Oh! I see

Now I know

It is not the colour

Nor the character

A woman like that

Would do me harm

Now let us go on

Explain the rest

GRANDPA:

Never go in for the short woman

A short woman is the neighbour’s daughter

Her house is so close to your house

You can never have a moment of peace

Whatever you do

Her people poke their noses

You can never have your lives to live

ATANGA:
Grandpa is wise

So what about the last?

GRANPA:

The tall woman

Is the woman who comes from afar

Her home-town is far

So you can’t have peace

Any time there is trouble in her home

You need to pay

To get your people to go with you

Amidst the feeding

And transportation

How can you proper?

ATANGA:

Granpa is wise

Grandpa has lived

Who would have thought

Of these wise sayings

To an infant where thoughts are concerned?

Thank you Grandpa

So which type of woman

Must I marry?

Grandpa?

Grandpa?

I am asking you a question!

Grandpa!!!!

Grandpa please answer!!!!

MMA:

Grandpa is gone

To the land of beyond

Where sorrow is nil

And thinking is unreal

Just be glad you sipped from his calabash

Of wisdom before he left

PROLOGUE:

And that ended

Grandpa’s advice

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

(With inspiration from the Tamale Cultural Coordinator)

MINDS ON INTERNET STREETS

LOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kwaku, if we go back

To the beginning of time

And I pick my great sack

And follow as you pluck

And I pick them fruits

Until I can no longer hold the sack

And you help me home

With a big smile

Wouldn’t love feel original?

 

 

What if I wrapped myself in greens

And took you to the screens

Of the sky and let the earth watch

In admiration and desperation?

 

 

Ooooh! I would have loved

That we’d bath in the streams of the cloud

Kwaku, wouldn’t you have loved it

If I served you in clay

And sang songs accompanied by your leg taps?

Shieeee, Kwaku,

I don’t you think peace was chased into the bush

With every advancement of civilization?

Kwaku, Kwaku, Kwaku!

Oh! You didn’t hear a thing

You are chatting on-line.

Sorry, bodies living together

Minds wandering on internet streets

Story of our lives!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

 

UNCHAINED

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She’s like sapphire

Transparent in feelings,

She blabbers about her dearest

Embracing her absence

And wearing her yearnings like a beautiful gown

 

I feel I’m watching a weird movie

I live like her, if not more occupied

So why does she try to taunt me with names?

Could it be her loneliness is more attractive by the cover of a name?

Is the world treating her better because she has a name as her blanket?

 

Why can’t the world love reality?

I am unaided and I don’t hide it

But I’m free, free to live

I never wait in tear-jerking anticipation

I live waiting on me, that is sincerity

 

Being sincere is the best way

But the world condones lies to one’s self

I don’t want to live that way

I want to live making love to the African air

I want to live being caressed by the African sea

 

I cannot live being whipped by its deadly societal customs

Let the superstitions and bad treatments flee from me

Let those who lie to themselves get mirrors of truth

Let those who carry issues of people to the market

Buy real goods for sale

 

Mine will sell

But it’ll sell without returns

And I could care less

Because the seller gets beaten in the end

I’m living like a true African, not like one bounded by heavy societal wires

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

SUBDUED

Alhaji Suri sat in his bench and thought about what Alhaji Babu told him yesterday, he is to give his daughter’s hand to him in marriage or clear all his debts. How was he going to clear this debt? If he did, that would be the end of him, his finances would crumble. But looking at Fati, what could he do to convince his stubborn daughter to marry Alhaji Bubu who is his age mate? He soliloquized only to feel startled upon hearing his wife’s voice.

“Alhaji, what is the matter? Why are you talking to yourself?” Mma Fuleira asked

“Oh, it is nothing, on a second thought; I think I should tell you. It’s about Fati, Alhaji Bubu wants her hand in marriage”

“I believe I did not hear you well, it cannot be Alhaji Bubu who is almost 70 years old?” Mma Fuleira enquired.

Silence engulfed both of them. They know the implication of defying the man, and they know what will happen if they break the news to Fati, but they by all means have to put the latter at a disadvantage, the question was how?

Fati is a university graduate who has sworn never to marry a Muslim although she is from an Islamic background. In fact, she joins no religion. Her father is of the opinion that the girl has been brain washed by some traditionalist. Whenever the girl opens her mouth to talk about religion, she talks about religion being used as a tool of colonialism, being used to cheat and suppress women, being used to cheat others and the worst of all, being used to kill innocent people.

Alhaji Suri sometimes thinks he made a mistake sending her to school. It certainly is school which has brainwashed her into rebellion. Just last week, during a conversation with some of her friends in his own house, he had overheard their conversation and was shocked at what his daughter had to say;

“What? To marry a Muslim man, I’d rather stay single or kill myself. It is not that I aim to label. I know the religion is fine. People who practice it without greed do great and live with mankind in harmony, but now, many are confusing religion with their barbaric cultures and using the literal meanings of quotations from the Bible or the Quran to push their selfish desires.  It seems the Bible helped Christian women to be human by specifically saying one man to a woman, the idea of Muslims being asked to marry as many as four and love them equally, which is ridiculous because to me no man can love four women equally, makes me fear getting into any of those traps. I also pity the women whose jealousies are cocked on their chest forever. I reject being thrown into a slot of a person who has four slots, such greedy people thriving on the wings of religion to exercise their greed make me sick. They marry a woman today only to see another tomorrow and start battling with their first slots to fill their second slots, then a third. They then reserve the last slot for their old age only to force themselves on some young girls using the ratio of men to women as their worldly excuse before they turn into corpses. Such strange people! If there is an Allah somewhere above, He must really be shedding tears so He  should reserve severe punishments for them in their graves.”

Alhaji Suri could not sleep that night. He had married three women but  died, he felt so insulted by the words of his daughter but could not confront her for fear of her saying what she said to his face. He has had loved all of them to the best of his capabilities, but Mma Fuleira tops his love chart. So this girl has succeeded into making him do an examination on his life. He knows he is courageous, but he does not understand why all his male children are calm while Fati got his extreme trait; his fire. He can never dare to blaspheme but his daughter does that easily.  He hoped none of his religious friends hear what she said, she might be stoned for blasphemy. Since he heard those words from her, he resolved never to have any conversation with her about religion ever. Now what is he to do?

He could tell her and force her to agree, but knowing Fati, she is not the type to be forced into submission. He calls for a family meeting when she goes to work and talks to his family about the problem. They agree that Fati must be married without her consent.

It was a bright Saturday when Fati saw the preparations going on, the house was painted, “pito” was brewed, different meat were fried, she asked what was going on only to be told, Fauzia is to get married to her longtime boyfriend. She helps somehow though she did not like the boy in question because of his drinking prowess.

He woke up on Sunday morning only to feel the hands of people on her body, something like a massage. It seems she has been bathed and was being dressed. She asked what was going on only to be told that she is getting married to someone. She made to talk and realized that her talks will do nothing for her. She must have a plan rather. She asked who her husband to be was but none teld her. She knew instantly that it couldn’t be good.

She was taken out dressed and covered. Lele was applied on her hands and feet, when she got out, they poured something on her signifying her marriage was sealed, still, there was no sign of her husband. After all the loud music and greedy mouths who saw her marriage as an opportunity to feast, her things were packed into a car and she was sent to her husband’s house.

She was sleeping because she was too tired, she felt a hand on her, opened her eyes and managed to switch on the light only to see Alhaji Babu’s protruding belly leading him as he stands naked, he says “sorry” and makes to push her on the bed but she instinctively bites his hands until blood oozes. As the man wails, attracting some people in the house into the room, she collects her thoughts and decides to run away. But she realised that the security man had been warned to never open the gate for her. The walls are also too tall to climb.

Hajia Sunda was very angry with Alhaji Babu;

“I told you to be very careful with women you go in for. With your diabetes, do you have to go in for a dog who will bite and send you to your grave?”

His second and third wives agree and the insult went on and on and even after the doctor finished his treatment and left, she heard insults directed at her. She realised that she needed to find a way out of the house as fast as she could but all eyes are on her. She opened her room only to realise that she had been locked inside. She calls out but none minds her.

She cried herself to sleep until she saw the door opening, before she could get to the gate she saw the intruder put her food down and quickly locking the door on her way back. She decided to starve. She had no phone to call anyone and she had no one on her side. She knew that the moment she realised that they all knew she was getting married but only she was oblivious to that fact. This is a war she must fight and triump. Even if she has to lose her life, she does not care as long as she is not turned into a corpse vehicle for an old man waiting to enter his grave.

She had known Alhaji Buba but had never known the man harbored such thoughts about her. He had usually patronized the bank in where she worked, she knew he was her father’s best friend and was a very wealthy man but never thought he had such moronic thoughts.

That evening, the man stood outside and addressed her, if only she is willing to lie with him, he will make it possible for her to live a normal life and even go to work, but if she remains adamant, he is going to lock her in the room for as long as it takes.

Fati felt very hungry, she did not want to eat any of the foods that the people had brought in for fear of it having a sedative. It’s been over five days now and she is fast losing touch with time. She thought about Kwame Kodie, he had thought her how to break into houses when she had wanted to be a detective. That guy is the only one she had had a real connection with throughout his life but he had been frank with her, his parents will not find it funny if he happens to even date her, something about the Christian religion and its rivalry with the Islamic religion. Then she started hating Christianity too. Religion she thought was supposed to make people free and give them peace not tying them like ropes so much so that they cannot breathe freely in this world. She searches for a pin and unlocks the door as everyone sleeps.

She stepped on the compound of the house and realised that the gateman was dozing outside his small room. She dashes into the hedges. The noise woke him up, he got up, surveyed the area and walked around a bit only to go back to his dozing. Fati did not know how long she was in the hedge, but she felt something move and thought it was a snake, at that same time, she heard a car spark and run to see if she could get the chance to go outside with the car. As she stepped out, she was blinded by the sunlight, she felt some sharp pains and fell unconscious.

She woke up feeling pain all over her body, she felt as though she had been pounded. She saw her mother sitting by her bedside and Alhaji Bubu’s first wife sitting at the far end. She called her mother and told her:

“I forgive you, all of you for what you did to me. I was knew the most happiness through you, I now know the most sadness through you. I am really sorry for all your caged minds. I wish somehow that you find the liberation before joining the earth. Living like this all your lives, deciding for others what to make of their lives certainly must have its heartaches. But for the life you chose for me, I would rather die than thread that path, so whatever happens to me, please know I’m at peace. Now please get me some water”

Mma Fuleira rushed for the water, only to come back to see her daughter being wheeled away to the mortuary. She passed on Hajia Sunda said. I am sorry, my son did not know she was hiding in the hedges, he was going out when she run into his car. I am so sorry.

Mma Fuleira knew within her heart that she could not blame anyone but herself for her loss. Her greed, her husband’s greed and her family’s greed had cost her her only daughter. She had two sons and a daughter, now she has only two sons. She cried bitterly. When Alhai Suri heard the news, he fell down and said not another word until he met the wandering ghost of his daughter which held a gun pointed at him. I thought she said she had forgiven us, why is she threatening to kill my tired ghost? He thought, his gladness at seeing her turning into fear.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

ETHOS OF FORTIFICATION (DIPO)

 

Oration of chastity

Parading of nudity

Inculcation of sincerity

Akweley passed the test of “Sonimouni”

 

No rice or corn ingestion

She was bathed in a river with admonition

Of family ties and connection

By the gathering of all hands to eat “Ho fufui”

 

Her hands were trained on the culinary

Her skills, she was told, must not be ordinary

And her asepsis apt; personally and at her future granary

Her matured thoughts were installed over the “Ka Pam Yami”

 

Substantiation of chastity, clay pots of anonymity

Sat on her chest in the gods’ loyalty

Her strongest brother waited in to carry her home in anxiety

After her buttocks had conquered the “Teko Mi” marking complete the “Bua sia mi”

 

Inculcation of respect

Teachings on many life aspects

And refraining from being horrible suspects

Were pushed into her head the whole of the “Blemi ke fo mi”

 

Her rich family adornments showcased her beauty

She danced well as all eyes found her pretty

Like a beautiful flower as she swore to do her duty

Of no shame to her family in the “Mahe ya mi”

 

“I will never forget

The “Mahe ya mi” even in a bet

Your father chose me among the set

And so I am who I am now because of purity”

 

How then can her seed take seed

Before her adornment of many a bead?

Not being able to step into her hometown is a creed

Her daughter of shame and abomination!

 

She waited until her menarche

And went through what her daughter calls anarchy

To get the womanhood key

Nature and change has dealt her a blow.

    Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

 

In times past, when girls have their menarches, they go through puberty rites in order to become women ready for marriage. The Ga Adambge’s of Ghana call this “dipo”. This poem is the story of Akweley, who went through the dipo rites and brought honour to her family. It seems her daughter is pregnant even before her time for the rites. Akweley tells her modern child what she went through before becoming a woman and how she can never step foot in their home town because she broke that custom. (The alien words are names of days for the festival, except the Teko Mi which is the final rites of substation of chastity)